It’s bizarre watching a raucous, practically slapstick comedy try so hard to behave as though it’s about something much more serious. Loosely based on an actual Wall Street Journal story, it tells the story of five life-long friends—Hoagie (Ed Helms), Callahan (Jon Hamm), Sable (Hannibal Buress), Randy (Jake Johnson) and Jerry (Jeremy Renner)—continuing a 30-year tradition of playing tag one month a year, with never-been-tagged Jerry the target of the other four as they gather for Jerry’s wedding in their hometown. Many elaborate chase scenes ensue, with much of the humor built around Jerry’s ninja-like ability to avoid his buddies, and some quality deadpan delivery by Buress. Given the simple premise, there’s also a weird degree of over-plotting in the script by Rob McKittrick and Mark Steilen—including an ongoing rivalry between Randy and Callahan for their mutual childhood sweetheart (Rashida Jones—and an undercurrent that it’s somehow really all about men and the extreme measures needed to maintain close friendships unless physicality and competition are involved, etc. Grown-ass middle-aged men playing tag appeals to arrested adolescence, so maybe don’t also aim for a rationalization of arrested adolescence.
Director: Jeff Tomsic
Producer: Todd Garner, Mark Steilen, Richard Brener, Walter Hamada, Dave Neustadter and Hans Ritter
Cast: Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Jake Johnson, Annabelle Wallis, Hannibal Buress, Isla Fisher, Rashida Jones and Leslie Bibb